Dutch development bank FMO has invested in dopay, a technology start-up company that aims to break the cash cycle at the payroll of underserved employees in emerging markets.
Worldwide, an estimated 2 billion people have jobs but no bank account. Through this investment, FMO supports dopay to scale up their payments and banking services in Egypt, thereby improving financial inclusion and creating more decent workplaces.
Egypt has a cash-rich economy, while only a third of the adult population has access to regular bank accounts. dopay offers a business-to-business service to Egyptian small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) as well as large enterprises allowing employers to digitize their salary payments. Unbanked employees receive their funds instantly in a personal dopay account that comes with a debit card, ensuring 24/7 access to their salary income. The investment contributes to FMO’s objective to spur innovation by supporting technology-enabled newcomers in the financial services industry. The EUR 1,000,000 convertible loan facility is made available from the MASSIF fund, which is managed by FMO on behalf of the Dutch government.
In Egypt alone, an estimated 700,000 employees enter the labour market every year. Digital salary payment helps to remove cash from the operating business of companies and contributes to a more decent workplace for employees. dopay has signed-up 1,600 businesses in Egypt to date. These businesses can instantly open accounts for their unbanked employees or other beneficiaries, for which the dopay account becomes their primary account.
MASSIF provides financial and non-financial resources to small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs by supporting local financial intermediaries and institutions that can contribute to their development. The Fund invests in low income countries, fragile and conflict-affected states with special focus towards rural areas, women, youth, irregular migrants and companies that are developing new innovative products and services for the ‘Base of the Pyramid’. “Supporting dopay is an important step for the Fund to further support entrepreneurs in Egypt, where access to financial services remains limited in large parts of the country”, explains Mr. Jeroen Harteveld, Fund manager of MASSIF.
dopay’s founder and CEO Mr. Frans van Eersel stated: “We are thrilled with the investment of FMO. FMO has a vast experience in our target markets and we are keen to leverage their extensive network.“
Other investors in dopay include Techstars Ventures, Ace & Company, Force over Mass and NN Group.